Kayshon Boutte happy to prove ‘doubters’ wrong in making Patriots’ roster


Boutte said he was aware of skeptics, but “tried not to focus on it and get better as a player.”

Kayshon Boutte
Kayshon Boutte runs for a touchdown against the Packers in a Patriots’ preseason game. AP Photo/Matt Ludtke

When the Patriots’ final cuts were made on Tuesday, Kayshon Boutte was among the six wide receivers who made the roster.

Boutte, 21, was picked by New England in the sixth round of the 2023 NFL Draft. Though once projected as a possible first-round pick following a breakout freshman year at LSU in 2020, his value fell in subsequent seasons (limited, in part, by multiple ankle surgeries).

Given his circumstances, Boutte — who seemed to perform better and better as training camp progressed — reflected on making the Patriots’ roster.

“It feels great. I feel like everybody doubted me,” Boutte told Mark Daniels of MassLive on Tuesday. “Things you see online and everything like that. I tried not to focus on it and get better as a player. I feel like throughout my time, I feel like [I improved].”

Boutte impressed during New England’s second preseason game, catching a slant from Bailey Zappe before accelerating away from Packers defensive backs for a 42-yard touchdown. It was an encapsulation of his potential: quality route-running, making a catch in traffic, and showing off the speed to make a big play.

“Coming in day-in and day-out, knowing that you’re fighting for a spot,” Boutte told Daniels. “I feel great.”

Bill Belichick has clearly taken notice. Beyond simply making the roster, Boutte has drawn compliments from Belichick.

“He didn’t do a lot in the spring, and as camp went on seemed to get stronger and more productive, both in practice and games, really in all of the areas that he worked into,” Belichick told reporters on Aug. 26. “So, that was very encouraging, and he showed explosive ability on the field when he played.”

The Patriots opted to keep six wide receivers on the roster. Along with Boutte, New England features DeVante Parker, Kendrick Bourne, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Tyquan Thornton, Demario Douglas (Matthew Slater is designated specifically for special teams).

And while it’s not an official measurement by any means, Boutte did finish tied with Parker and Bourne for the most receptions in competitive drills during training camp with 28, according to Daniels.